A rookie Detroit cop with less than four months on the job is being lauded for talking a suicidal man out of jumping off a freeway overpass.

The incident happened at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday, when officers from the 12th Precinct were dispatched to Livernois and the Lodge Freeway, where a man in his 50s was threatening to jump from the overpass.

Officer Abigail Campbell, who graduated from the police academy in October, was part of a backup unit, Detroit Police Officer Dan Donakowski said.

“The distraught man was threatening to commit suicide by jumping off the overpass bridge,” Donakowski said. “Officers made the scene, and Officer Campbell’s unit was there as a backup unit.”

Michigan State Police troopers blocked freeway traffic, while fire trucks arrived and hoisted their ladders. Campbell, who has a master’s degree in intelligence analysis and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, initiated a conversation with the troubled man, Donakowski said.

“Somebody had to act,” he said. “Officer Campbell was able to speak to this individual, and calmly talked to him. Because of her knowledge and training, she was able to talk him out of committing suicide.”

After the man was pulled to safety, he was taken to the Detroit Receiving Hospital Crisis Center. “He was able to get the help he needed,” Donakowski said.

Campbell joined the police department in April 2016 and graduated from the police academy six months later. The LaSalle native was a star soccer player at the University of Detroit-Mercy, and was the first female athlete at the school in a decade to play three sports: Soccer, basketball and lacrosse, according to the university’s website.

“She has displayed the type of leadership and valor which has become synonymous with the Detroit Police Department,” said a post on the department’s Facebook page. “ Her actions and that of her fellow officers, resulted in a man’s life being saved.

“Her commitment to service and her unwavering dedication to the citizens of this great city make us proud to call her one of Detroit’s Finest,” the post said.


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